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Frequently Asked Questions

Is this an online program? Are distance learning options available?
This is not an online degree program. A student's plan of study can be personalized, and some courses may be available online via distance learning. However, the majority of courses are held on campus only.

How does an SLPD degree compare to a PhD?
SLPD – primarily for students engaged in clinical practice wanting to acquire additional knowledge and skills in a focused area of speech-language pathology. Emphasis is on being a good consumer of research rather than on conducting research, in addition to developing leadership skills. Program usually consists of 1 year of full-time study (12 credit hours each fall and spring semesters, and 6 credit hours in the summer).

PhD – primarily for students interested in conducting research and/or teaching in a university setting. It usually requires 4-5 years of study to acquire the PhD degree.

Is the SLPD program full-time, or can I attend part-time?
Students may be enrolled full-time or part-time in the program. Continuous enrollment each semester is required once course work has been started.

How easy is it to obtain residency in the state of Kansas for the purpose of in-state tuition?
You must have continuous physical residency in Kansas for at least 365 days prior to the first day of class. Please reference the Office of the University Registrar’s website for the residency policy.

Where are classes held?
The required evidence-based course sequence will be taught on the KU Medical Center campus in Kansas City, Kan. Depending on the student’s area of focus, elective classes could primarily be on the Medical Center campus (e.g., anatomy and physiology classes, nursing classes, public health classes), or mostly on the Lawrence campus (education classes, psychology classes, applied behavioral sciences classes), or possibly distributed between both campuses.

How do I identify a potential mentor?
Applicants should have a solid direction for their SLPD concentration areas when completing the application. The selected areas must be a good match to the faculty and resources available in the program. It is critical that applicants review the faculty backgrounds and areas of interest when considering applying for the SLPD. Without a good match between the applicant’s interests and the faculty, even a well-qualified applicant will be denied admission into the program.

Potential applicants should investigate by reviewing bios for KU-Lawrence and KU Medical Center faculty. Laboratory websites are also good sources of information. Searching for materials published by faculty (PubMed, CINAHL, etc.) is recommended. Applicants should contact faculty members directly when a match has been identified.

Are GRE scores required to apply to this program?
The GRE scores are not required for the application to this program. However, the scores can improve the student's profile for the admissions committee.

What if my graduate degree is in a field other speech-language pathology?
Only a master’s degree in speech-language pathology from an ASHA accredited university program is acceptable.

Is provisional or conditional admission available?
Sorry, this program does not provide provisional nor conditional admission status.

What makes for a strong application?
Applications are viewed holistically, thus the committee considers all pieces of the application; however, we encourage you to take particular note of the following:

  • Academic performance
  • Research experience
  • Clinical experience
  • Leadership qualities
  • Problem-solving ability
  • Interpersonal communication skills
  • Evidence of diverse experiences

My cumulative GPA is below a 3.0. Do I have a chance to be admitted?
KU requires a 3.0 overall GPA for admission to a graduate program. In some limited cases, exceptional applicants may be considered for provisional admission.

How does the 2-campus program work? When and where are classes held?
Students attend classes on both campuses, providing students exposure to more top faculty and the opportunity for expanded access to clinical training sites throughout the Greater Kansas City and Lawrence/Topeka areas. Students often carpool to the KU Medical Center for Monday/Wednesday class days and to the Lawrence campus for Tuesday/Thursday class days. The number of hours spent on each campus varies from semester to semester. Students are seldom required to commute between campuses on the same day. There are occasional evening classes, but most courses are offered during the day.

Where do students live?
Some students reside near one campus, but others choose housing they feel is halfway between campuses or on major routes between campuses. Designated student parking is available on both campuses with the purchase of one parking sticker.

What on-campus housing options are available for students?
There is no student housing on the KU Medical Center campus. Most students live in apartments in surrounding neighborhoods and are responsible for arranging their own housing. Housing is available for students on the Lawrence campus: see Student Housing for information.

Is the background check required when applying to the program?
not during the application process, but students are required to follow the background check procedure once accepted into the program and to complete it before entering the program.

I already have a degree, but it's not from a U.S. college or university. What steps do I need to take?
All non-U.S. transcripts must be evaluated before they will be accepted. Please see our information for international students page for more details about this procedure.

I need driving directions.
KU Medical Center is centrally located in Kansas City and easily accessible from I-35. The campus resides at 39th Street and Rainbow Boulevard. See: KU Medical Center maps, parking and directions. The main campus of KU is located in Lawrence, Kan. along Interstate 70. See: KU-Lawrence maps, parking and directions.

Last modified: Sep 07, 2018

The priority application deadline is December 10 for fall semester admission. Applications received after this date may be reviewed if space remains in the next class.

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